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BLOOD TYPE AND NUTRITION


A number of readers of NVNH have inquired about the merits of a book which recommends flesh foods as the best form of protein for certain blood types. The following article offers a solution to this concern.

In the nutritional programs advanced below, some points are at odds with the Natural Health Dietary Guidelines that were spelled out in the previous issue. However, new information should always be considered, and there are always people who will benefit by adopting some or all of the new concepts presented.

With this in mind, in July 1999 I ventured to the Gold Coast and the International Congress on Natural Medicine where Dr. Peter D'adamo was to speak. After much discussion with him, it emerged that he is a true humanitarian, and while he indicated that '0' and 'B' types do benefit from animal proteins, he made it quite clear that vegetarians from these blood groups can achieve good health without consuming flesh and animal-derived proteins.

I am convinced his program will gain wide acceptance in the Australian naturopathic community. My charter is to see D'adamo's work and theories interpreted correctly. In this article I would like to illustrate how '0' & 'B' blood-type individuals can implement the basic tenets of the blood-type diet while maintaining their vegetarian way of eating.

THE LECTIN-BLOOD TYPE CONNECTION

D'adamo's theories are based on a chemical reaction taking place between your blood and the foods you eat. Due to the so-named lectins contained within foods, your immune and digestive systems still maintain favouritism for foods that your blood-type ancestors ate. Lectins are an abundant and diverse range of proteins found in foods - predominantly seeds and particularly those of legumes - that seek out and bind to carbohydrates in red blood cells.

Your blood-type antigen is one of 4 different carbohydrate structures that stick out and label every one of your red cells as either 'O', 'A', 'B' or 'AB' blood type. (An antigen is a foreign substance which stimulates an immune response.) Certain lectins that are incompatible with specific blood-type carbohydrate antigens will attach themselves to that antigen, leading to blood cell clumping or agglutination. Once cells are agglutinated, they become targeted for destruction by the immune system as if they were some type of foreign invader.

Your blood-type antigen is found not only on your red blood cells, it is also extensively expressed in digestive mucus, gastric-acid secretions, pancreatic juices and bile. So if you eat food lectins that are offending for your blood type, in addition to agglutinating your red cells, they also have the potential to cause bodily cells in the digestive tract to clump together and lead to an immune system response.

For example, when blood type 'A' people drink cow's milk, the milk lectin can interact directly with cells along the digestive tract lining, resulting in localized inflammation with symptoms such as bloating, flatulence, gut cramping & discomfort. For a person with digestive system problems, looking at red blood cells via live blood analysis is an excellent tool by which we can determine what is happening to similar cells in the digestive system.

The following Live Cell photos illustrate red-cell agglutination (photo B) and cells with no agglutination (Photo A).

In the past, practitioners using live blood microscopy, like myself, have related the picture in photo B to having excess protein in the diet, or to the patient being incapable of effectively assimilating protein. However, it seems that eating harmful lectins in foods is also a major determinant of cellular agglutination which will occur throughout the whole body. Because red blood cells bring oxygen to every cell in the body, this is very undesirable and you will become more fatigued. Agglutination is also reflective of an increase in organic acid level within the body, which accelerates the rate at which you age and increases the risk of developing infectious illness, cancer and heart disease.

THE PROTEIN EQUATION

Your day-to-day energy levels and endurance are partly determined by how well you assimilate protein. This assimilation can be impaired by many factors such as the consumption of those dietary lectins that cause localized inflammation in the villi of the digestive tract lining. The inflammation prevents the uptake of amino acids and other nutrients, often bringing on symptoms like bloating, fatigue and/or sugar cravings after the meal.

So what's the answer?

We don't want to make the mistake of over-eating protein in order to compensate for any inadequacies in assimilating these amino acids. The adult body needs about 40 grams of pure protein daily to maintain metabolic equilibrium, which amounts to 0.5 - 0.7 grams protein for every kilogram of ideal body weight.

This amounts to approximately 30 - 50 grams of protein a day which should be delivered over a minimum of 3 daily serves. The challenge is to optimize the utilization of these dietary proteins.

Plant proteins are more likely to be digested into their constituent amino acids and then absorbed into the bloodstream. These amino acids are easier for bodily cells to utilize in cell construction. Vegetarian proteins will also improve cellular respiration within mitochondria.

In the context of blood typing, we need to eat beneficial or neutral vegetarian proteins in combination with grains and vegetables that don't contain lectins that impair digestive system function and amino acid uptake.

By consuming only beneficial lectins, we also encourage the growth of friendly gut bacteria which further improves the uptake of amino acids from the plant proteins. The lacto/ovo 'O' and 'B' blood-type individuals can also add milk and egg proteins to the range from which amino acids can be derived. D'adamo assured me that 0- and B-type vegetarians can have optimal health if they choose their plant proteins and meal combinations wisely.

O-type program overview

he main point to remember is to avoid combining your beneficial and neutral vegetarian proteins with offending lectins in grains, vegetables and fruits. Make up your daily protein allowance from any of the neutral or beneficial vegetarian proteins listed in the above table.

CEREAL GRAINS: Wheat and corn (maize) contain lectins such as gluten and others that react with the blood and digestive tract cells, and interfere with proper assimilation of amino acids, minerals and other nutrients - as explained earlier. While wheat is by far the worse offender, by avoiding lectins from both grains you can maximize the assimilation of the nutrients in your protein foods. '0' blood types should focus on reducing the total intake of grains and selecting more often from rice, oats, millet, rye and barley. '0' types are better to get starch from vegetables such as parsnip, peas and sweet potato and to increase the intake of other vegetables and fruits. It is important to substitute fruit for that piece of bread between meals.

VEGETABLES: The Nightshade vegetables, in particular eggplant, potatoes, capsicum & chilli, cause arthritic conditions in type 'O's, because their lectins deposit in the tissues surrounding the joints. Sweet-corn lectins affect the production of insulin, and, like the lectin in wheat, can lead to obesity and mature-onset diabetes.

The assimilation of proteins will be enhanced by avoiding combinations with potato and corn in the same meal. Alfalfa sprouts contain components that, by irritating the digestive tract, can aggravate type '0' hypersensitivity problems. The moulds in cultivated mushrooms and fermented olives also tend to trigger allergic reactions.

FRUITS: Rockmelons and honeydew melons contain very high mould counts so should be avoided. Oranges, tangerines and strawberries should be avoided due to the high acidic reaction they induce in the digestive tract. The type '0' digestive tract already has high acidity and needs the balance of the alkaline fruits to reduce the possibility of ulceration and irritation to the stomach and duodenal lining. Blackberries, contain a lectin that aggravates type '0' digestion so are also better avoided.

B-type program overview

For 'B'-type vegetarians the best advice I can offer is to adopt a lacto/ovo vegetarian style of eating. 'B' types utilize the lacto/ovo range of proteins more effectively than any other blood group and these can be liberally included by 'B' types who are not lactoseintolerant.

Type-'B' individuals of Asian or African descent are more likely to be lactose-intolerant, and in these cases the sheep's and goats' milk selections may be more suitable. Type-'B' vegans still have a range of legumes and nuts to select from, while taking care not to consume them simultaneously with the grains and vegetables that may shut down digestion and cellular metabolism (see below).

CEREAL GRAINS: Wheat, corn and buckwheat lectins are all capable of disrupting digestion and metabolism. Rye, rather than affecting digestion, contains a lectin that settles in the vascular system causing blood disorders and the potential for stroke. Rice and oats are probably the best grains to use in combination with your protein foods to maximize amino-acid assimilation.

VEGETABLES: Tomatoes can irritate the digestive-tract lining, so are best avoided. I have often seen 'B' individuals who have at times observed completely undigested tomato in their stools. Sweet-corn can disturb insulin metabolism and is best avoided, as are olives that contain moulds which can trigger allergic-type gut reactions. Use sweet potato, parsnip, potatoes and peas as alternatives to what are normally good starchy grains - rice, millet and oats.

SUMMING UP

The basic tenets of the blood-type program are easy to follow even if you are vegetarian. As lectins are present in very high concentrations in legumes, nuts, seeds and grains, it is essential that vegetarians select proteins in those food groups that will not disrupt digestion or metabolism. This point should be emphasized even more for those who suffer from digestive disturbances, weight problems, sugar intolerance or immune deficiency syndromes.

If your blood type is either '0' or 'B' , there is still a wide range of suitable plant proteins or lacto/ovo proteins available to eat. As long as they are eaten with carbohydrates containing friendly lectins, you should be able to combine proteins and starches provided no other underlying gut disturbance is present. Remember, that problems such as pancreatic insufficiency, bacterial and fungal dysbiosis, hypo-chlorhydria (low stomach acid) and poor quality bile production will also require therapeutic correction if your digestion and health are to improve markedly while implementing bloodtyping changes to your diet. By attending to any such problems simultaneously with these changes, you can expect to notice big improvements in health, ranging from energy levels to raised immunity.

By choosing foods containing lectins favourable for your blood type, you will be encouraging the growth of beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract. This will underpin any improvement in your ability to assimilate the nutrients in your diet. Of course, if you select foods with unfriendly lectins, then expect a proliferation of unfriendly microbes which will undermine good digestion and metabolism.

For those interested in a more complete explanation of lectins and their role in nutrition, more information is available on the molecular basis of the blood-type program on Dr. D'adamo's website, www.dadamo.com

For those who require visual proof that you are indeed becoming healthier on the inside, Live Cell Testing can be used as a before and after measure of the effectiveness of a blood-type diet program.

Christopher Manton,

B.App.Sci., Dip.Ed., M.Nutr & Dietetics., Ass.Dip.Nat., Nutritional Biochemist, is the director of The Health Detective Pty Ltd.

He is qualified in clinical nutrition and naturopathy and runs a practice in nutritional biochemistry using Darkfield Microscopy and the Bolans Clot Retraction Blood Test.

Enquiries can be forwarded to the clinic at Level 1, 70 Bronte Rd, Bondi Junction, NSW 2022.

Phone 02 9387 8777 (BH).

E-mail: info@healthdetective.com.au

 

In his new book, The Eat Right Diet, Dr Peter D’adamo introduces the concept of dietary lectins – and their potential to influence the capacity of of all bodily organ systems to function effectively. I have been using these principles espoused in his book in my practice since late 1997 with great success and have reduced the need for food sensitivity testing in people suffering from allergic complaints.

There have been some instances where I have seen health problems such as arthritis, diabetes and skin disorders resolved by dietary therapy alone using D’adamo’s nutritional concepts.

However, one pressing concern for people on vegetarian diets is his recommendation for those with ‘O’ and ‘B’ blood types to consume more animal protein while reducing intake of unsuitable grains and plant proteins. I would certainly agree that his nutritional programming  appears to be encouraging these blood types, the ‘O’ blood type in particular, to consume foods considered to be highly unethical by serious vegetarians.